Swimming Canada Suspends Coach Accused Of Sexual Assault

Swimming Canada has suspended Ajax Swimming CEO and high performance coach Matt Bell after being informed of criminal charges filed against him.

Bell has been charged with sexual assault, sexual exploitation, and four counts of luring a person under 18 years.

“We have been informed of the charges and are taking all appropriate actions available to us,” Swimming Canada CEO Ahmed El-Awadi said. “We have suspended Mr. Bell from all swimming activities and interactions under Swimming Canada’s jurisdiction pending the outcome of the criminal proceedings.”

Bell was recently a member of the 2015 FINA World Junior Championships coaching staff and was most recently on deck on the FINA World Cup Series as a coach on the Mid-Eastern World Cup Tour.

“Immediately upon becoming aware of the charges, we began the process of contacting athletes and parents who have had interactions with Mr. Bell in connection with Swimming Canada national teams, tours and programs, and we should have all notifications complete within the next 24-hours,” El Awadi said.

The alleged victim, a teenage girl and former swimmer at Bell’s privately owned club, Ajax Swimming, reported the sexual assault that allegedly took place in 2011 to the Durham Regional Police this past August.

The DRPS Sexual Assault Unit launched an investigation which led to Bell’s arrest Tuesday.

Both Swimming Canada and the DRP are encouraging anyone with information to step forward. The DRP are asking anyone with information to contact Det. Bussanich of the Major Crime Sexual Assault Unit at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 5324.

Anonymous information can be sent to the DRP Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or online here.

With the police investigation still on-going, Swimming Canada stated that they will be issuing no further comment or details.



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4 years ago

So much for a suspension, apparently he was on deck with his swimmers just this morning.

Common People
Reply to  Anonymous
4 years ago

Lets hope he was not on deck! The parents of the swimmers that were there dam well know that he “most likely” is breaking conditions of his bail; could cause themselves issues.

If the parents really care about him they would tell him NO until it is resolved one way or another.

Its funny how coaches(Matt) always like to tell parents what to do/not do with their kids; now its time for parents to tell a coach(Matt) NO MORE until it he gets his stuff resolved!

Reply to  Common People
4 years ago

Cecil Russell all over again. Blinded parents.

Also Anonymous
Reply to  bo
4 years ago

Actually Common People, there are no bail conditions in place restricting this coach from being on deck. Also, Swimming Canada did not inform him of the suspension prior to informing the media. Coach Bell only found out about it when he read it in the newspaper. Therefore on the morning that Anonymous is talking about, Coach Bell was unaware of Swimming Canada’s position. He has not been on deck since learning of it. I think it sucks that Swimming Canada didn’t actually talk to the coach himself, but put out media releases instead.

Common people
Reply to  Also Anonymous
4 years ago

Usually there are conditions of being around minors period, however, it sounds as IF he even did It , the supporters won’t care anyhow

Reply to  Also Anonymous
4 years ago

As stated in the local press yesterday and it probably would have been told to him by the Crown before release.

Part of his Bail conditions; “That he not have unsupervised contact with anyone under 16”.

If he did it is irresponsible for Parents who may have known to allow this to happen, and they would have an obligation to Report it to the Police.

Reply to  Also Anonymous
4 years ago

“no bail conditions” for those charges? Who are you kidding yourself? They are Criminal Charges and there would be strict bail conditions. As was stated in the Media and if you check the court record the bail condition’s are in place.

As Far as Swim Canada’s position, they are a Joke. This is a Criminal matter and as stated previously if they have electronic messages, e-mails , between the Coach and the Kid that support the charges then he is Toast!

About Mitch Bowmile

Mitch Bowmile

Mitch worked for 5-years with SwimSwam news as a web producer focusing on both Canadian and international content. He coached for Toronto Swim Club for four seasons as a senior coach focusing on the development of young swimmers. Mitch is an NCCP level 2 certified coach in Canada and an ASCA Level …

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